WEST KELOWNA (NEWS1130) – If nothing else, the race to fill the seat left vacant by former Premier Christy Clark when she resigned last summer is promising to be interesting in what’s traditionally been a stronghold for the BC Liberals.
Ben Stewart — who stepped down in 2013, so Clark could have a safe seat after first losing in Vancouver — says he’s not going to sit back and just wait for the results on February 14th.
“It is winter, Valentine’s Day, which I don’t want to say that there could be an effect from that, but there could be. I know that I have to earn it because not everybody knows who I am, even though I have lived in the riding all my life and contributed in many ways to the community.”
His main opponent is the NDP’s Shelley Cook and she insists she has what it takes to surprise everyone expecting the Liberals to win. “It doesn’t discourage me. It just makes me want to fight harder and we will break through. That is something I’m certain of.”
She adds she’s not running scared after losing the same race to Clark last year.
“Running in the by-election was sort of finishing something I’ve already started. We may be having a very different conversation at the end of this. It’s going to be, ‘Wow. You broke through and nobody thought you were going to do it. How’d you do it?'”
Stewart also says he knows he has to earn the win. “We have done many things, but you can never take that for granted or the voters’ concerns. I think the issue about affordability in the last election, we certainly didn’t speak to enough.”
The Green Party candidate is Robert Stupka.